December 31, 2013
A few of our favorite highlights this year…
First photo of a jaguar cub on a Viviendo con Felinos ranch.
We retrieved 18 jaguar photographs on the Viviendo con Felinos ranches this year – including a six-month-old jaguar cub. Establishing a safe-haven for mothers and cubs is the main reason we established the reserve, and why our collaboration with neighboring ranchers is so essential.
Unprecedented number of felines on the ranches.
This year’s 259 Viviendo con Felinos photos surpassed the total number of feline photos for any of the previous five years, and nearly half of the participating ranches recorded all four cat species – jaguar, ocelot, mountain lion, and bobcat. This generated more than $24,000 in awards for our rancher neighbors.
Key relationship building with local ranchers.
We enrolled a new ranch in Viviendo con Felinos, where the owner had been considering lethal alternatives to end mountain lion-related livestock losses. He is the relative of a rancher who has been spreading anti-carnivore sentiments locally, creating an important connection to this prominent ranching family.
Comprehensive review of the success from Viviendo con Felinos.
A social scientist conducted rancher interviews to evaluate the impacts of our community outreach. Most ranchers attributed their more favorable attitudes toward wildlife to Viviendo con Felinos. One rancher said he uses the cameras on his property to identify feline travel routes so he can move his cows and avoid conflict.
Sightings of new jaguars on the reserve.
Our cameras have photographed a total of 45 individual jaguars on the reserve and neighboring ranches. This summer, we surpassed 500 total jaguar photos. In addition to “Pedro” – the six-month-old jaguar cub named after beloved NJP board member Peter Warshall – highlights from the year’s 100 photos include five female jaguars and five new males.
Buffelgrass removal to restore native vegetation.
We urgently need to stop the spread of highly invasive and highly flammable buffelgrass. This summer, we targeted newly sprouted grass in heavily infested priority areas, and we plan to repeat this work over a multi-year period to achieve a high kill rate and restore native vegetation.
Habitat restoration projects aimed at water conservation.
We led a crew of local workers from Sahuaripa to build gabions on more than 200 acres of eroded, heavily grazed habitat on the reserve and Viviendo con Felinos ranches. These gabions are permeable rock micro-dams that slow stream flow, retain soil moisture, raise the water table, and counteract the prolonged regional drought.
Local schoolchildren participate in launch of 5,000-mile trek.
We hosted a series of community events and brought adventure trekker John Davis to Sahuaripa for the launch of his 5,000-mile journey, TrekWest – a trek from Mexico to Canada that showcased North America’s last remaining wild places – places like the Northern Jaguar Reserve.
Other notable highlights include:
Continuing steps toward reserve expansion, a six-week ornithological molt-migration study, and field staff changes that have led to more conservation employment opportunities from the local community.
All of these activities are possible thanks to each of you who make up our very dedicated base of support. Thank you!